Black River Co-operative

The Black River co-op is a burgeoning farming cooperative located in the quaint and picturesque town of Matheson, Ontario, 70 kilometres north of Timmins. They support knowledge-sharing around regenerative farming, protection of farmland, and community resilience.

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Grocer4Good Ability Development Program

What inspired you to start the Grocer4Good Ability Development Program, and what is your motivation behind it?
My inspiration came from having a son on the Autism spectrum and working with a marginalized population in my work, also knowing not many opportunities are available for paid employment and skill development for people facing barriers. I resided and worked in Boulder, Colorado, for three years from late 2014 to early 2018 and was exposed to different social enterprises employing youth and adults on the autism spectrum.

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EcoSuperior is an incorporated not-for-profit organization, operated by a volunteer board of directors that wants to achieve greater environmental stewarship in Northwestern Ontario and Lake Superior Basin through engagement, education, collaboration, action and leadership. They are supported entirely through fee-for-service projects delivered for municipal, provincial and federal governments as well as corporate sponsors and other funding agencies.

They offer a wide range of programs and services, from community and school presentations to information resources and a growing retail operation of eco-friendly products.

The Spotlight features an interview with Ellen Mortfield, the Executive Director for Eco-Superior Environmental Project at Thunder Nay Ontario.

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What inspired you to start the ArtSpeaks Project?
The inspiration came from 20+years of community work I’ve been doing since returning to Sault Ste. Marie after graduate school in the ’90s. I trained as an art therapist and saw a great need to make art part of everyday life and not just for the privileged or elite. I believe that making art a part of everyday life will lead to healthier individuals and healthier communities.

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